In this third story of the #CemeteryHillSeries, Willa makes some important decisions about her future and is ready to move forward after her terrifying ordeal the previous year.
And new people come to Cemetery Hill Township, as something horrifying – something monstrous – makes its presence known after many years of lurking.
What new horror visits itself on Cemetery Hill and the township? Find out in The Visitors, a story from Tales from the Mountain. $3.99 (See excerpt below.)
Excerpt from The Visitors
The Cemetery Hill Series Part 3
A Tales from the Mountain Story
By Shannon L. Buck
The township had visitors again the next weekend. The same ones as before. They’d detected some interesting phenomenon and wanted to let Willa know. When they knocked on Mildred’s door, she directed them toward Willa’s new home, explaining that Willa had married the sheriff.
When Willa invited them into her home, they congratulated her and she offered them coffee. They all sat around the table and chatted for a while. Willa asked Jenny if they had found anything out.
“We detected some definite paranormal activity. Some weird things happened when we were here last, and we were hoping to be able to stay in the cemetery tonight. Sort of an all night vigil.”
“I’m sure that’ll be fine. What sort of weird things?” Willa looked at Jenny with new-found interest. What could they have found?
“First there were the moving lower branches in the area where we had set up camp. It was unexplainable. There didn’t seem to be anyone or anything there. Nothing we could see, anyway. And there was no wind. In fact, the middle and upper branches of the trees didn’t move at all. Only the lower ones, and all of those branches moved at once and for the same periods of time. Nothing that one or a few people could have accomplished.” She sipped her coffee. “And our heat sensors picked up images. Nothing definitive, but things were definitely there. Things that we could not see with our own eyes.”
Rhonda sipped her coffee, then added, “And those noises. They sounded horrible. Like some giant terrible beast. What was that?”
“I think you’re describing the noises that we’ve always heard,” replied Willa.
“Wow. It was scary, listening to that each night. We never heard it during the day, though. We’re hoping to investigate that further tonight.”
When Willa’s visitors were ready to go to Cemetery Hill, she walked them there. She packed coffee and food and told them that, while she would not come out at night to check on them, they were welcome to come to her and Wes’s cabin if they needed anything. “You can spend the night with us if you have to. It’s no trouble.”
The group assured Willa they had everything they needed and would be fine. They’d report back in with her the next morning with any findings and, even if there were none, to say goodbye.
“Good,” she said. “I’ll feel better knowing you’ll be checking in.”
Willa and Wes were sitting on the top step of their front porch late that night, when they could hear strange guttural sounds. Wes had taken Willa gently by the arm and was leading her inside when the sounds grew louder. They turned to see someone running toward them. Wes pushed Willa carefully inside, told her to close the door as he drew his gun. Before she could close the door, she heard a woman call her name.
Willa turned, rushing out past Wes, “Jenny, is that you?” Seeing that it was indeed her new friend, she exclaimed, “Oh my god! Jenny, what happened?” Just then, the young women were knocked to the ground by someone crashing into them, realizing it was Gabe when he fell on top of them. Wes ran, helped each of them up, and led them all into the cabin.
By lamplight, Wes and Willa could see that both Gabe and Jenny were covered in blood; sobbing and finding it hard to catch their breath. Their eyes were wide with terror.
When they finally calmed down a bit, Wes asked, “Where are Rhonda, Brian, and Keith?”
Jenny began screaming, and Willa went to her quickly to calm her. “Th-they got Rhonda. They t-tore her arms right off! I don’t know how. Where are B-Brian and Keith? Both of them were right behind us back at the cemetery.”
“I don’t know, Jenny. Who are ‘they’?” asked Wes.
“I d-don’t know,” she began crying again, softly this time. Gabe was in too much shock to speak. He just kept staring at the door, wide-eyed, like he expected someone to come crashing through it at any moment.
“Willa,” Wes said. “I’m taking you, Gabe, and Jenny to your parents. Grab what you need. Quickly. I want you to stay there while I go look into this.”
Willa was scared for him. She didn’t want him to go, but she knew it was his job to do so. He was the sheriff, after all. “Please, just be careful. And don’t go alone. Take a lot of the men with you. Please. And look after each other.”
Hugging her tight, he said “I will. I love you. I want you to stay at your parents until I come back for you, okay.” She nodded and held him tighter. “I’ll bring you over there now, then I will put a team together.”